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Google releases more Home Speaker details

by on20 May 2016

No word on price though

Google is releasing a competitor to Amazon’s runaway speaker success the Echo later this year.

Dubbed Google Home, the speaker will be coming out later this year for an unspecified price. You can sign up to be notified for updates at the Home website.

The guy behind the speaker is Mario Queiroz whose claim to fame was Chromecast. The Home is small speaker you plug into the wall with always-listening, far-field microphones that can hear you from across the room. It'll answer your questions, play your music, and control some of your home automation gadgets.

Physically, the Home is a small, approachable little cylinder with an angled top. Like Google's OnHub router it has a modular case that you can customize with different base shells to match your decor. It will also have some LED lights to let you know it's working.

Where the Home is different from the echo is that Google thinks you will use it to listen to music. It is supposed to have “strong bass and clear highs."  How a single speaker which is the size of a small coffee grinder can produce anything like a decent sound is anyone's guess. We guess music standards have slipped so much that Taylor Swift is considered deep and meaningful so we guess sound quality is just something old farts like me care about.

Home is designed so you have more than one in a house. You can tell it to play music on other speakers, just like you can with Google Cast Audio. It will work with Google Play Music, of course, but it should also be able to handle any other service that supports Google Cast, like Spotify.

Unfortunately, the Home won't support multiple Google accounts at launch, but the company says that will come in time so it is fine if you live alone but you might have a scrap with your partner over who runs the music in the house.

Home lets you ask Google questions. Its responses will be optimized for audio. Google Home will work with a smaller set of home automation devices probably the thermostats and lights. And it will be able to do all the stuff that Google's voice assistant can currently do.

There is no word on how much it will cost – at least not until closer to the launch.

Last modified on 20 May 2016
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